Paris - Roubaix 2016: Cobbled victory early escapee Hayman, Boonen second

At 257.5 kilometres, the 2016 edition of Paris-Roubaix offers 27 stretches of pavé. Mathew Hayman is one of the men in the break away and he waits for the big men to arrive. Boonen, Stannard, Vanmarcke and Boasson Hagen join him for a thrilling finale. Hayman is fastest in the sprint at the Velodrome, besting Boonen by a tiny margin. Stannard finishes in third. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results Paris-Roubaix

1. Mathew Hayman (aus)
2. Tom Boonen (bel) s.t.
3. Ian Stannard (gbr) s.t.
4. Sep Vanmarcke (bel) s.t.
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (nor) + 0.03
6. Heinrich Hausler (aus) + 1.00
7. Marcel Sieberg (ger) s.t.
8. Alesejs Saramotins (lat) s.t.
9. Emanol Irviti (spa) + 1.07
10. Adrien Petit (fra) + 2.20

Race report
With 10 kms done Van Bilsen, Stenuit, Politt, Jarrier, Bagdonas and Siskevicius are the first riders to force a tiny gap. As soon as they are reeled in Stijn Devolder gives it a go, trailed by a large group. The pace is high and with 210 kms to go the break is brought back, but Van Poppel, Viviani and Porsev push on. After a 20 kms effort their adventure is over.

Time for a new front group. Jelle Wallays attacks and Hayman, Chavanel, Popovich, Kump, Bozic, Nielsen, Le Bon, Martinez, Declercq, Janse Van Rensburg, Puccio, Backaert, Erviti, Morkov and Daniel hook up. Etixx opens the chase, yet the front group widens the gap little by little. When hitting the first cobbled sector the gap is 1 minute. Morkov and Wallays are dropped after punctures, while Martinez can’t follow the pace. The leaders race to a maximum lead of around 4 minutes.

Following a crash at the pavé of Maing Sagan, Cancellara, Terpstra, Stybar and Kristoff are forced to a chase.

With 83 kms to go the leaders are gobbled up by the first peloton, featuring Boonen, Vanmarcke, Stannard, Rowe, Boasson Hagen, to name a few. Sagan et al are 0’50” adrift and they are closing in. At the pavé of Orchies and are closing in to 0’34”. The closest they will get.

At Mons-en-Pévèle Vanmarcke attacks and he is accompanied by Stannard. Boonen, Boasson Hagen, Erviti and Hayman bridge the gap. At the same stretch of pavé Cancellara hits the deck, thus handicapping the chase severely. Terpstra is down also and the winner of 2014 is forced to abandon, while the Swiss himself re-opens the chase with a 3 minutes deficit.

Saramotins, Sieberg, Haussler and Rowe re-join the front group, but they are dropped at Camphin-en-Pévèle, just like Erviti.

At Carrefour de l’Arbre Sep Vanmarcke powers away. Stannard, Boonen and Boason Hagen are able to react, while Hayman hooks up a little later. With 12 kms left it’s a front group of five. It stays like that at the cobbles of Hem.

Attacks galore in the finale and Hayman and Boonen are the first to enter the Velodrome at the moment Vanmarcke joins them, while Stannard and Boasson Hagen hook up at the eleventh hour. But it’s all invain. Hayman outsprints the lot, taking (by far) the best victory in his career.

Paris-Roubaix 2016: Route map, cobbled sectors, and more

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